Aprons tied? Knives sharpened? Then let another series of Masterchef commence…

In the new run, 60 amateur cooks will stir their way through the heats before being sifted down to a handful of contestants by judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode.

Those left will take on mass catering challenges and face the scrutiny of some of the world’s top chefs. And those who reach the final will need nerves of stainless steel to face the heat in the kitchen as they compete to become MasterChef Champion 2014.

“The very first challenge we ask the contestants to do is new,” Gregg, 49, told the Daily Express. “They’re asked to cook their ‘calling card’, a practised dish that represents who they are as a cook and showcases their talent.

“There’s also a twist to the invention test. The contestants will have to choose between a sweet or savoury box of ingredients, without knowing what they contain,” adds John, 48.

“A lot of the things we taste are absolutely delicious, but some aren’t so appealing,” John adds. “I will say two things about some of the dishes coming up in this series.

“First, there’s a potato and plum dumpling that was described by one of our guest judges as a tumour. Secondly, all I’m saying is ‘duck and banana’…”

Gregg admits the longevity of the show has been a surprise.

“I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for 10 series. It’s incredible,” he says.

Filming MasterChef takes up a huge chunk of Gregg and John’s time, and there have been highs and lows along the way.

“The highs for me, as always, are watching contestants achieve incredible results and, ultimately, their dreams,” Gregg says. “The lows are when they let themselves down and we have to send them home. That’s sad.”

John’s highs include going to India, heading to his native Australia, and the Arctic Circle challenge. “I don’t have many lows but one would be the QE2 challenge,” he says. “It was an absolute horror because I just felt seasick the whole time.”

Both agree MasterChef could last for another 10 series. “We are a nation of food lovers and how we eat is always evolving, so I hope we can keep going,” John says.

Masterchef, BBC1, Wednesday, March 26